Myth-busting: Audio Bandwidth vs Data Bandwidth

Few things get me as agitated as the flagrant spreading of disinformation on the part of the plainly ignorant or apathetic. How’s that as an opening line for an argument? Well, it’s a fact.

As mentioned previously, recent weeks have seen some developments in the war against low-def voice. HDVoice service in the UK is getting easier to find, even in the mobile space.

This is very encouraging. Like the adoption of color TV, or music on CD, or video on DVD, the publics exposure to the new technology will create demand where once the established industry players thought there would be none.

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The foundation have just released a 30 minute video that they call A Digital Media Primer For Geeks. This video is a great overview of the basics of digital media. It’s nicely written and very clearly stated.

Given my interest in IP telephony and background in production/broadcasting I find that there’s a lot to like in this introduction. It nicely describes such things as; digital vs analog signals, audio sampling rates and alaw vs ulaw encoding….all good stuff to know. It even includes a few rudimentary examples of audio at different sample rates.

Available in a variety of formats up to 720p HD, I think that this primer is a great offering. It makes clear what might be for some fuzzy concepts in digital media. Highly recommended viewing!

BTW – I get a kick when someone actually says “Google is your friend” in such a presentation. It’s so true, but rarely said without being crude.

VoIP At Large: Taking Lessons From The World Around Us

My wife tells me I’m obsessed. In the course of going about our daily lives I notice things that most other people don’t. Given my proclivities, I usually notice interesting telecom equipment in action. Sometimes it’s simply product placement on television and in movies, other times it’s telecom tools in action at real-world installations.

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New Gear: Plantronics Savi Office W430 Headset

Over the past week I’ve been making use of a new headset, the Plantronics Savi Office W430. While I’ve been very happy with the performance of the Savi Go, which has graced my desk for the past year, I thought it time to try something new and different.

Unlike the Savi Go, the Savi Office W430 is DECT-based. Normally DECT headsets comes with a wireless base that connects to a hard phone like my Polycom Soundpoint IP650. In contrast the Savi Office W430 comes with a DECT base in the form of a USB dongle that plugs into the host PC. The result is a wireless headset for use with a soft phone or UC client, but with the range of a good DECT phone.

Oh, and by the way, it’s wideband capable!

I’ve been giving it a workout over the past week with Eyebeam and Skype. You may have heard me using it on last week’s VUC call. After I’ve gained some more experience with it I’ll offer up more details. In the mean time I’ve located a couple of nice reviews for your consideration; one at IT Enquirer and another at

Plantronics have entered the Savi Office W430 in the CTIA’s 2010 Hot For The Holidays Contest. On the strength of my initial experience I’ve voted it up. If you like Plantronics wares perhaps you can show them some love and vote it up, too?

A VUC Special Edition Featuring Australia’s David Rowe

Friday September 17th we will have a second, special edition VUC call at a special time. Our guest for this hour will be David Rowe of Rowetel.

David’s accomplishments in telecom are many and varied. He’s the man behind the open source hardware that is the ATCOM IP0x range of embedded Asterisk appliances. He’s one of the architects of the “Mesh Potato” hardware at the core of the Village Telco Project (Steve Song, VUC Nov 2009) His efforts in the realm of software include the Open Source Line Echo Canceller (OSLEC) and a wholly new open source, low-bitrate voice codec (Codec2.)

David is just returning from a trip to Extreme Com 2010 in Northern India. He’s recently posted some very interesting notes on his personal blog.

Since David resides in Adelaide, Australia this call will be at a special time which has yet to be confirmed. It will most likely be at 7am Adelaide time,  which is 5:30pm US EDT, 2:30pm PDT, 10:30pm London, and 11:30pm in Paris.

Notebooks, Netbooks & Tablets…Oh,My!

This post is inspired by the recent release of the HP Mini 5103. I’ve been carrying its predecessor since April, and meaning to share my recent experience with netbooks, especially in the light of the coming onslaught of tablets.

There are aspects of my working life that lands me squarely in the category of “Road Warrior.” Business has me visiting customers locations all over North America, and occasionally locations overseas. This very fact of my routine travel has dictated that I carry a laptop. Remember that my employers business is broadcast graphics equipment, so our laptops are on the more capable side of things…meaning more powerful, bigger & heavier. Recently our staff have started carrying “mobile workstations.”

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